- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 6, 2007

IRAQ

Gunmen free dozens from prison

MOSUL — Dozens of gunmen stormed a prison in this northern city yesterday and freed up to 140 inmates in one of the biggest prison breaks since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, police said.

The attackers hit Badoush prison just after sunset in the ethnically mixed city and overwhelmed police, who called the U.S. military for backup support. It was not clear whether gunmen clashed with police.

Saddam Hussein’s nephew Ayham Sabawi escaped from the same prison in December after he was accused of financing the Sunni insurgency against U.S. forces and the Shi’ite-led government.

IRAN

Rights commissioner backs protesters

GENEVA — The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights rebuked Iran yesterday for arresting at least 31 women during a peaceful protest and urged Tehran to respect all human rights.

Eight of the women were released on bail yesterday, said Louise Arbour’s spokesman, Jose-Luis Diaz, quoting reports from U.N. officials in Tehran. Several women still in custody had begun a hunger strike, he said.

Security forces arrested the activists outside a Tehran court on Sunday during a protest in support of five other women detained in June who face criminal charges for having organized a women’s demonstration, Mrs. Arbour said.

Weekly notes …

Dutch financial watchdog AFM said yesterday it is investigating claims of unauthorized selling of Islamic financial products in Turkish mosques and cafes in the Netherlands. The leftist newspaper De Volkskrant reports that the Turkish pro-Islamic and conservative Milli Gorus movement, which has several mosques and coffeehouses in the Netherlands, defrauded hundreds of families in Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Islamic laws prohibit the earning and payment of interest, and forbid investment in businesses involved in drinking alcohol or gambling. … More than 1,100 journalists and support staff have been killed carrying out their work in the past decade and the annual toll has jumped since 2003, the year of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, according to a report issued yesterday by the International News Safety Institute. It said Iraq is the most dangerous place for journalists, followed by Russia and Colombia.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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